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Sprint looks increasingly isolated as it quits NGMN Alliance

04 августа 2008

A feature of the emerging generation of mobile broadband standards is that the major operators have seized the steering wheel, and are determined to ensure the technologies are optimized for their commercial needs.

The most powerful body coordinating the operators' activities is the NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Networks) Alliance, which numbers 18 carrier members and works with a wide range of other bodies. When it was first formed, it seemed to be a force for unity across the industry, able to support more than one RAN technology, and bring various 4G contenders within a common umbrella of patents policies, performance tests and interoperability systems. But now the operators are descending into the same politics that have often delayed or fragmented standards over which the vendors have ruled, and the clearest signal is that the Alliance has selected just one technology - LTE - as its preferred new generation network, and this has prompted WiMAX' greatest supporter, Sprint Nextel, to quit the Alliance.

The developments dampen hopes for a near term convergence of WiMAX and LTE into a single mobile broadband standard for the run-up to 4G, although the Alliance did indicate, when it made its LTE selection earlier this month, that it would assess WiMAX again in its next iteration, 802.16m. This suggests strongly that WiMAX and LTE could remain separate for the current generation and then come more closely together at the 16m/LTE 2 stage, in a few years' time, assuming that both technologies have strong market positions by then.

Источник: WiMAX Trends

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